Xenomech is Back!

I’ve started playing World of Warcraft at the insistence of a friend of mine. I’ve joined the guild Vox Novus, a splinter group of the guild I belonged to before I quit playing earlier this year.

So far I’ve earned one of the three new ‘veteran’ armor pieces available from the battleground rewards vendors. I should have the second one by next week.

I’ve also raided Karazhan once with my new guild. We took out The Curator in one attempt, which was pretty good.  I hope to being casual raiding now — maybe once a week or so.

A new expansion has also been announced for the game, but there’s no information on when it will come out.  Hopefully it’ll go on sale next January like the previous expansion did.  It’s nice to have something to do when you’re stuck in the house in winter.

Tobacco Adventures

I have acquired a taste for fine tobacco ever since my parents brought back Cuban cigars from their trip to the Dominican Republic earlier this year. Sadly, I’m down to one cigar, having smoked an average of one a month for the past half-year.  Properly prepared and smoked, tobacco has a really good flavor to it.  It’s a world of difference from the crap cigarette smokers experience.  Also, not inhaling the smoke is a big plus as well.

Last weekend I decided to try out pipe smoking. I figured it would be kind of cool to get the whole “pipe-smoking professor” look going on. :-P

I did a bit of research online so I wouldn’t sound like an idiot at the tobacconist’s shop, then went out and bought myself a pipe. To my dismay, the only pipes that were available were plastic ones. They were relatively inexpensive, so I decided to give it a shot.

Unfortunately, my experiment in pipe smoking did not go as well as I’d hoped. The cheap pipe gave the tobacco a ‘melted plastic’ flavor, and the tobacco was nowhere near as tasty as the Cuban cigars I liked. Thus ended my foray into pipe smoking.

If I ever get my hands on a decent wooden pipe and some real tobacco I might try it again, but until then I’ll be using my plastic pipe as a prop.

Today’s Raging Dumbass

Andrew Keen wins today’s Raging Dumbass award. I just watched an interview with him on a rerun of the Colbert Report. This guy is the epitome of the arrogant elitist who thinks the world owes him something. He thinks the internet is a terrible thing because it allows the common folk to create art and that this somehow takes money out of the mouths of professional artists. He couldn’t seem to stop using the word “stealing” when talking about how people use the internet (as if it were even possible to steal things via the internet).

Congratulations, Andrew Keen! For being an enemy of social progress and of human civilization as a whole, you’ve earned today’s Raging Dumbass award!


Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition Announced

The Wizards of the Coast have announced a new, fourth edition of the quīnta essentia roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. Some of my friends and I play D&D on a weekly basis (more or less), using the 3.5 edition rules.

I find the foundation of the current rules — the concept of the “difficulty check” — to be good for relative speed and ease of use, but there is a lot of room for improvement.  Personally, I’m more of an old school RPer: give me a dungeon full of monsters, traps, puzzles, and treasure and I’m happy.  I’d like to see more tables for randomly generating information and better modifier lists for skill checks.

Anyway, the official site is down, so I’ll have to scrounge around a bit to see if I can find some more information on this new edition to see if any details have been given.

The Internet Movie Firearms Database

The internet is a beautiful thing. A buddy of mine directed me to the The Internet Movie Firearms Database. This awesome site is a developing online encyclopedia of guns in movies, TV, video games, etc. It still appears pretty new, but it’s already got a lot of great stuff, like the list of real-world weapons the guns in GoldenEye 007 were based on and the firearms used in the movie RoboCop.

Oooh! Browse by screenshot! Awesome!

Today’s random quote

Copied from a Slashdot post:

“The Cold War ended. The world was as close to Peace as it has ever been. We could have been investing in so many things to help the human race as a whole.

Instead we’re spending trillions of dollars “fighting” a few thousand nutcases who can’t do any more damage to the world than we do to ourselves, every year, in traffic accidents.”